Why and how do social workers take digital tools?
The guidance is aimed primarily at social workers to administrative professionals and medico-social secretariats, their institutions, all the members of the social development and digital mediation. It aims to accompany the appropriation and the use of digital resources in the field of social work. It aims to help positioning of social workers and, more broadly, social actors, particularly social mediators who, in their actions, facilitate access to rights and dematerialized services.
Everyone has a role to play in helping people who face difficulties in using digital tools, the internet and social networks. The recommendations are intended to support the professional development of the different actors to use reasoned and thoughtful technologies on the most recognized online services in information and communication in their daily practices while remaining vigilant to legal issues, ethical and ethical.
What is digital?
The term “digital” has entered mainstream language without being subject to shared and consensual definition. It will be used here to represent all the applications that use a binary language that classifies, sorts and distributes data. This term will encompass interfaces, smartphones, tablets, computers, televisions, as well as the networks that carry the data.
It will consider both the tools, the contents and the uses. Technological evolution is redefining the contours of society every day. It introduces profound upheavals. The digital world is changing the way we communicate, exchange, produce, transmit information, knowledge, engage …
The digital transition, an issue for social work
The digital transition is here considered as a process of appropriation of the uses of these technologies. This process must be accompanied by continuous reflection on the effects of their use in the field of social work.
The strategy engaged entrusts in particular to the administration a role of advice and service. His translation the fight against the phenomenon of “loss of rights”, to prevent the risks related to technological developments and to ensure a decompartmentalization of the different categories social and socio-professional.
One of its objectives is to allow equal access to all public services online. In this logic, social work has focused on a number of themes, in particular that of access rights via digital platforms, which make online services available for the majority of people. Social work in the digital age challenges social workers to maintain or enrich the relationship with the accompanied persons who need to have with them professionals available, competent and responsive.
Thus, professionals should consider the digital as a positive lever of social support without forgetting that it is only tools. This implies defining a common frame of reference for appropriating the uses by all the actors, including the decision-makers, the people welcomed and accompanied and the partners.
Digital uses must be systematically accompanied by ethical reflection and deontology that gives meaning to the interventions. Methodology and professional positioning are always to question whatever the tools used. The fact that they are digital asks professionals, as well as volunteers for help and guidance, to know the use with discernment.
Why people need online services
Digital technology impacts professional practices and working organizations. Their critical and constructive analyzes of these developments make it possible to find adapted answers, carried by meaning and values. The introduction of digital in all aspects of the lives of citizens logically lead professionals to analyze and understand their sources.
These are multiple and concern equally the behaviors of individuals and groups, the expectations of institutions and practices and professional use of these constantly evolving tools. Among them are mobile apps on social services. With the development of e-administration, many public services have changed their approach users, in particular by putting online most of the procedures, requests, forms, contacts etc.
Many administrative procedures are totally or partially dematerialized without sufficiently taking into account the diversity of the publics concerned. Access to digitized services reveals inequalities: if certain audiences are particularly digital, others need support in using these tools. The upkeep of face-to-face service is essential for those who are in difficulty. People also claim the right not to be connected to the name of their individual freedom.
Finally, some territories still do not benefit from satisfactory network equipment, which penalizes their inhabitants. That is why there is a need of most recognized online services and mobile apps based on that. Physical receptions maintained here and there are now undersized compared to people who today do not have access to the internet or, if they have access to it, can not properly use it.
Thus, apart from social workers, new professions appear in and out of the field of social work: digital mediators, mission project managers digital, community managers … Some of these professionals are and will be in contact direct with the population. All these actors have the need to work together, to enrich themselves mutually of their own competences for the benefit of a common public.